In 1882, two boat builders of Lyttleton, Messrs Albert Shaw and J.T. Tidd, erected large boat sheds on the Avon River by the Antigua Street Bridge.
An illustrated guide to Christchurch, published in 1885, highlights the facilities for the boating offered there. “The sheds are the most complete in the colony. They have a landing stage with a frontage of 200 feet to the river, ladies waiting room and gentlemen’s dressing room, and besides all these easily house the 38 boats, accommodating from one to 15 persons each, the 16 canoes double and single, and 250 pairs of sculls and oars…”
In 1887, Mr Shaw became the sole proprietor of the Antigua Boat Sheds, having dissolved the partnership with Mr Tidd.
The boatsheds were taken over by Samuel Anstey of Fendalton in November 1896.
Fire broke out in the Antigua Boat Sheds at about 6am on May 14, 1907. It had a good hold when the fire brigade arrived, and already half the roof on the eastern end of the sheds was falling in. Only half the building and half of the 70-or-so boats it contained were saved.